Estate planning in New Jersey is making decisions about your assets and property distribution after you pass away, and if your parents haven’t started this process, it could be a good idea to discuss it with them. Estate planning includes creating a will, naming beneficiaries for insurance policies and retirement accounts and creating powers of attorney and healthcare directives.
Having a conversation about estate planning
The first step in helping your parents start estate planning is to have a conversation about their wishes and goals for their estate. Discuss their assets, who they want to inherit them and any special considerations or wishes that they may have. This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s important to have it sooner rather than later as unexpected events can happen anytime.
Writing a will
Once you have a better understanding of your parent’s wishes, you can help them create a will. A will is a legal document outlining who will inherit your parent’s assets and distribution. Ensure that the will is legally valid and reflects your parent’s wishes.
Discuss establishing power of attorney
In addition to a will, you may also want to help your parents create powers of attorney and healthcare directives. A power of attorney document allows someone to make financial decisions on your mom’s behalf if she becomes incapacitated. A healthcare directive outlines your parent’s wishes for medical treatment if they cannot communicate them.
Estate planning sometimes requires updating
It’s important to note that estate planning is an ongoing process. Your parent’s choices and circumstances may change over time. It is a good idea to review their estate plan periodically and make updates as needed.
Helping your parents start estate planning can be challenging. It’s not easy because it deals with the mortality of the people you love. But, by having an open and honest conversation about their wishes, you can help make sure that what they want is carried out according to their wishes.